Modern Athlete Magazine Issue 139, March 2021 - Page 14

KALMER ’ S CORNER kalmer ’ s corner by RENÉ KALMER
Our Modern Athlete Brand Ambassador ’ s Blog

KALMER ’ S CORNER kalmer ’ s corner by RENÉ KALMER

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They say the power of music is in the emotions it unlocks in our minds , hearts and souls , and of course , this also applies in our running careers , as I quickly found out when thinking about some of my favourite songs .

Most of you will know the famous Chariots of Fire , a very special piece of music by Vangelis with very special memories for all Comrades runners ... The excitement , the goosebumps , the rollercoaster of emotions , the camaraderie at the start . When hearing that song , you can almost smell , taste and feel the blood , sweat and tears of months of preparation . You can probably also smell the Deep Heat , porta-potties and race day nerves , but let ’ s not get into those details today !

The fact is that certain songs have very special memories that come to mind when we hear them , and combining these songs with special running memories brings us joy , laughter and nostalgia to treasure . Here then are some of my all-time favourites from my years of running .
Born to Run – Bruce Springsteen “ Baby we were born to run ” A list of running songs would simply be incomplete without starting off with this song . It sums up the reason we get up at 5am , the reason we run past our own house four times in a row to complete the distance for our Strava account , the reason we know what it means to hit the wall , the reason we read this magazine ... and whether you run for fitness , for prize money , to stay healthy or to run from your problems , we are all runners .
Where the Streets Have No Name – U2 “ I want to run , I want to hide ; I wanna tear down the walls that hold me inside ” During Lockdown Level 5 , I think we all wanted to break down the walls that kept us inside . People got very creative on treadmills and even ran marathons in their yards or up and down a corridor in the house . We all appreciate the fact that we can be back on the road again !
Barcelona – Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballé “ Barcelona … Such a beautiful horizon , Barcelona … Like a jewel in the sun ” When thinking of music and the Olympic Games , one
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ISSUE 139 MARCH 2021 / www . modernathlete . co . za
cannot help thinking of Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballé belting out Barcelona in front of millions of viewers . It not only captured the essence of a beautiful city , but also South Africa ’ s return to the Olympics in 1992 , and watching Elana Meyer winning the silver medal in the 10,000m after battling Derartu Tulu .
Respect – Aretha Franklin “ R-E-S-P-E-C-T ” Running teaches you a lot about respect ... To respect yourself , your competitors , the officials , the hills , and don ’ t start your race too fast , as it will catch up with you later !
( I Can ’ t Get No ) Satisfaction – The Rolling Stones “ Cause I try , and I try , and I try , and I try , I can ’ t get no , I can ’ t get no ” Running releases endorphins , and no matter how hard you try , if the bug bites you , you will struggle to break the healthy addiction and always want more ...
500 Miles – The Proclaimers “ And I would walk 500 miles , and I would walk 500 more ” As you know by now , my husband Andre usually finishes Comrades in the last 10 minutes of the allowed 12 hours . How I really wish he would walk less and run more to spare me the stress of seeing whether he is going to make the cut-off !
Let the River Run – Carly Simon “ We ’ re coming to the edge , Running on the water , Coming through the fog , Your sons and daughters ” Running takes you places , whether it ’ s running around your neighbourhood , running along the beach , or doing a trail run between soaring mountains and a river below ... Nature at its best .
Let It Be – The Beatles “ Let it be , let it be ...” Some runs just don ’ t go according to plan ... Don ’ t ponder on it for too long , just let it be and focus on your next run .
Eye of the Tiger – Survivor “ Rising up , back on the street , did my time , took my chances , Went the distance , now I ’ m back on my feet , Just a man and his will to survive ” Some of the most epic running scenes in movie history come from the Rocky movies , of him training to get fit for the big fights . And if this song , doesn ’ t get you psyched up , nothing will .
He Ain ’ t Heavy He ’ s My Brother – The Hollies “ The road is long , with many a winding turn ” Remember the famous TV ad with the elephants ? Sometimes I sing these lyrics to myself when it gets tough out on the road .
Nkosi Sikelel ’ iAfrika – The South African National Anthem “ Let us live and strive for freedom , in South Africa our land ” Whether it is played at the start of a race or at the medal ceremony at the finish , your heart bursts with pride .
PS : I have to give my rockstar hubby the credit for this column , and I ’ ll bet you ’ re also singing a few of these now !
About the Author
René Kalmer is a two-time Olympian , having represented SA in the 1500m at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and in the marathon at the 2012 London Games . She has also won more than 40 SA titles in track , road and cross country at youth , junior and senior level , in distances from 800m to the half marathon .
Images : Courtesy René Kalmer , iTunes , Music Bazaar , Musix Match , Popdose & Wikipedia